hail to the victors: the book
ED(Seth) NOTE: Since it appears we are going to have a John O’Korn era after all, we decided to make Ian Boyd’s article from last summer available to everyone. The following was published in Hail to the Victors 2016. You can download the original PDF to whatever device from this link.
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The Cowboy’s Next Rodeo
by Ian Boyd
Coaches and teams in college football live and die by what happens at the quarterback position. You can trace the rise and fall of various programs and coaches across the country by how they handled the position and whether they got good, great, or poor play.
Despite being famous for making the under-center power running game cool again, Jim Harbaugh really reached his current level of notoriety by grooming Andrew Luck into a Heisman/no. 1 pick and getting the most from guys like Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick at San Francisco. As soon as he came to Ann Arbor, Harbaugh secured the services of grad transfer Jake Rudock from Iowa and regular transfer John O’Korn from Houston, stole high school senior Zach Gentry from Texas, and went to work on 2017 and 2018 QB recruits. Coach Jim knows he can’t allow his rebuild to be done in by a lack of options at the most important position.
Rudock was a one-and-done for the Wolverines while O’Korn has a chance to be an additional bridge to the future as Harbaugh develops younger players like efficient sniper Alex Malzone, MGoBlog fave-rave Brandon Peters, and top 2018 pro-style prospect Dylan McCaffrey. As it happens—provided he can wrest the job from 2015 backup Wilton Speight—O’Korn could be filling the gap in a year when Michigan is positioned to win the Big 10 and reach the playoffs.
[After THE JUMP: some Harbaugh plays that O’Korn should excel at]
This is the cover of a 128-page book:
…THAT YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW
It is now in stock in the MGoStore for $15. You can also get it as a PDF download for $5. Or you can get the slightly different (fewer pictures, a bit more words) version on Kindle here for $9, or from iBooks soon. Or you can walk into any Underground Printing store, or Moe's, or Literati (so far) in Ann Arbor and buy a copy off the shelf.
OR YOU COULD BEG MATT FOR ONE
HTTV 2016 is sponsored by my friend Matt Demorest of Homesure Lending, who upgraded everybody who did the Kickstarter to first-class shipping.
Thanks to Brexit, rates hit what will probably be an ALL-TIME low today. Even if you refinanced or bought a home recently you might want to check with him to see if it's worth it to try again. He'll let you know.
Matt also asked for a box of books with his sponsorship, so if you fill out a loan application I bet you could get him to cough up a copy. Follow the link or call him: 734-531-9950.
OR YOU COULD SIT BY THE MAILBOX
If you are a backer and you got your address to us on time, your unsigned books ought to be on their way as of tonight. If you're unsure if you got your address to me, go to the last update I posted on Kickstarter for the backers and see if your name is on the list. (You'll have to be logged in and a Kickstarter backer to see it.) Or check your spam folder for a pile of emails.
I'm taking care of the Kickstarter orders before anything else, but please wait a few weeks before asking where your copy is, since sometimes they don't come as fast for some reason. The very first would have arrived like today or tomorrow.
If you pre-ordered the book, those will be mailing out this week and next. T-shirts and signed books will come later.
OR YOU COULD COME GET ONE FROM BRIAN
Literati is going to throw us a launch party at The Circus Bar on Friday, August 5, at 7pm. We'll have the bar reserved for us before it opens for the regular Friday night traffic. Brian will be giving a presentation to tamp down your expectations for this season, or something.
I have to miss it for a family thing which may or may not mean they don't trust me to talk about this year's team without falling to the floor and giggling.
[What's inside, after THE JUMP]
The Hail To The Victors 2016 Kickstarter slams shut at 3 PM. This is already the most successful year we've ever had, so many of you have already bought the book and various ancillaries. We thank you for that. If you haven't already, you could… you know… do so.
Did you guys really change the cover? No. We did get pinged by compliance about a potential problem with using a guy with eligibility on a Kickstarter so we pulled it—while we look at it as a preorder, it's not worth the bother. Every preview magazine since time began has had an editorial photo on the cover and ours will also.
But you already made your goal. Yes. From your perspective the Kickstarter gives you an opportunity to get things you can't get elsewhere. From our perspective, the Kickstarter tells us about how many to publish and is the most efficient way to exchange goods and services without (much of) a middleman.
But I want multiple shipping addresses. We decided a few years ago that this was not a good idea because getting all these addresses was a cluster and it slowed down everyone's shipping. This is a valid reason for you to not back the Kickstarter.
But I want a stretch goal. If we hit 75,000 I'll call someone a horseface? This is going to happen anyway eventually so it is a bad stretch goal.
It's that time again.
Yea, the college offseason is a long desert you are condemned to wander in for eight months. Let us be an oasis at which you can slake your thirst. HAIL TO THE VICTORS is an annual publication from MGoBlog that previews the upcoming Michigan football season in 128 pages of glorious detail.
Whereas your Athlons and Phil Steeles of the world will devote two or maybe four pages to your favorite thing in the world, this magazine is by and for obsessives. Let us count the ways.
THE TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM
MGoBlog's Brian Cook writes a team preview covering about a third of the book, offers an opinion on the overall state of the offense, defense, and special teams, and then plunks down a prediction that will no longer be roundly mocked because Michigan's coaching staff is no good.
THE ENEMY THE ENEMY THE ENEMY
Ace Anbender surveys the opposition with savage intent. We are pleased to announce that this year we have secured the services of Buckeye Grove's Ross Fulton for the Ohio State preview; Ross's in-depth knowledge of the Buckeyes and surprising sanity are an excellent combination.
TWISTED BLUE STEEL
Adam Schnepp sits down with tight end Jake Butt and discusses Harbaugh, the NFL, his decision to avoid it, and many other topics. Michael Elkon on expectations in year two of Harbaugh.
SBNation's Ian Boyd on John O'Korn and how he fits into Harbaugh's passing game. Steve Sharik on Don Brown's dudes and what he plans to accomplish with them.
Seth Fisher and Mel Newman on when Texas A&M tried to buy Bo... and failed. John Kryk on The Guarantee, 30 years later. Steve Sapardanis on the Six Penny Defense, or when Bo invented the dime package. Craig Ross on how Michigan more or less invented all of football, from the forward pass to platoons.
THE SHIRT THE SHIRT THE SHIRT
This year's Kickstarter-exclusive shirt is perhaps the best ever, thanks to Smoothitron and BISB.
You can of course get the classic photobomb shirt if you are crazy.
BONUS: BETTER SHIPPING
NEW this year: thanks to sponsor Matt Demorest of Homesure Lending, shipping is upgraded to first class from third class. Magazines will arrive mere days after printing instead of weeks. Celebrate this fact with a new mortgage or the dog gets it.
YOU ARE PROBABLY RUNNING AROUND IN CIRCLES UNSURE OF WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT
Click a link and you will be taken to the Kickstarter page, where you can decide on a support level and then pledge that amount. We appreciate your patronage. Click here or here or here or here but NOT HERE.
Right now, this very second, it is July. July is when nothing football happens (Canadians don't count) except BBQs, recruiting, and maybe some reading.
But in a few days, it won't be July. It will be August. August is when some football things are happening. And the real football things are, like, actually close enough you can start thinking about them without having to say to yourself: "Self, it's still more than a month until football."
So a week from Friday, that is 8/7/2015, at 7 p.m. (like it says above), we're going to sit in a bookstore with our HTTVs open, and we are going to talk about our football things, right out in the open. We will not temper our discussion with "this is all more than four weeks away." We will not preface things with "I know it won't be for awhile until we know this for sure but…" We will not speak of Maryland receivers as if there's only a 15 percent chance they're still on the roster by the time Michigan travels there.
In August, we can talk. We can talk about the football.
- Brian will give a presentation on Harbaugh's offense.
- MGoBlog staffers yelling "Harbaugh!" at each other.
- Probably a Draftageddon argument about whose Ohio State slot receiver was a better choice.
- Profuse apologizing for having this argument, followed by a making up ritual that involves yelling "Harbaugh" at each other.
- Jim Harbaugh, but only on the odd chance he happens to be walking by at that moment, sees a book with his photo on it, and comes in to see if there really is a cult someone formed around him and whether he can somehow use it to make better football.
- Other MGoBlog readers who look nothing like their Avatars.
No gate. No bars to entry. Free to the public.
META: HTTV Stuff
You should have books now. Some of you got more books than you paid for. Many of you waiting on signed copies emailed me asking when that and the t-shirt are coming. Many more have asked how to buy it. I've updated the FAQ.
MADE OF HONOR
Erik_in_Dayton wins Diarist of the Week for nailing the state of Michigan basketball recruiting:
“When you look at what they’ve done with guys like Trey Burke, Darius Morris, and Tim Hardaway, you know this is the place you want to very nearly go to school,” said point guard Trevon Duval of Newark, New Jersey. “I mean, in theory, they could take a guy like me and make me a top five pick.”
Never the bride.
IN A TIME BEFORE TIME HARBAUGH RECRUITED…
Taysom Hill, now BYU Heisman candidate. Alum96 previews the Cougars as a bellwether for the 2015 season.
A TIME WHEN MICHIGAN RAN, AND WE THREW.
Okay, I'm now old enough that people old enough to be classified as adults ask questions about history that I was a part of. This one wanted to know why we threw white goods.
These things were separate, non-overlapping traditions. I was too young to throw a toilet paper roll before they banned that, but was old enough to see it happen and want to try it SOOO BAD. The TP was because touchdowns were rare and worthy of an ad-hoc ticker-tape celebration; the ban was probably wise since cleaning it up, especially on wetter days, led to long, boring delays.
The marshmallows were nicked from other stadiums c.1989, and were still a big thing when I was a student in 98-'01. We mostly threw them at each other, but there were mini-games like trying to get one in opponent bands' sousaphones or the TV crews' parabolic microphones, or lobbing one right in front of their cameras.
There's your act of rebellion if you're looking for one. Remember, even into the 1980s a lot of games weren't televised. Michigan was proud to be on TV way more than most, but every concession made to commercials was resented in the stadium.
But really there was no good reason for the mallows except they're soft and throwable and students like to act goofy. When they installed the field turf in 2003 Lloyd personally asked the students to stop and that was their end. Traditions give college football its all-important flavor, but these traditions were probably not worth the pain they caused for the stadium crews.
I told you: I don't take vacations. Now show me where you keep these fullbacks they say can also play a 4-4 defense?
Etc. What would you do with a very large bowl? Art Vuolo: y'all should know, though. GR360. A guy who does strength coaching on Drake Johnson's ACL. David Brandon was (gasp) wrong about what students want at a football game (hint: it's not better cell coverage).
Your Moment of Zen:
Keep watching and the Glee Club of '84 sings an interesting rendition of Ohio State's alma mater.